By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – It's a big weekend for the Tennessee Tech softball team as the Golden Eagles square off with two of the top teams in the Ohio Valley Conference standings as Tech travels to Eastern Illinois on Saturday, then takes on SIUE on Sunday.
Tech (14-25, 5-7 in OVC play) currently stands in eighth, which would take the last spot in the conference tournament if the season ended today. Meanwhile, the Panthers (28-11, 7-3 OVC) and the Cougars (17-14, 7-3 OVC) are currently in a tie for third in the league standings, trailing Jacksonville State (24-16, 11-1 OVC) and Eastern Kentucky (25-14, 7-1 OVC).
The doubleheaders are scheduled for 1 and 3 p.m. each day.
The Panthers are hitting .284 for the season, topped by Haley Mitchell, who is hitting a staggering .445 on the year with 49 RBI with 13 doubles and 10 home runs. Mia Davis (.327) and Mady Poulter (.254) also have tallied more than 20 RBI, driving in 23 and 22 respectively.
In the circle, EIU has two pitchers who have been tough to tag in Jessica Wireman and Michell Rogers. Wireman has a 13-6 record and a 1.97 ERA, walking 49 and striking out 155 as batters are hitting .216 against her. Rogers has a 13-4 mark with a 2.75 ERA, 31 walks, 71 strikeouts and opponents hitting .237.
The Panthers are 3-3 in their last six games with a pair of wins against SEMO, a split at UT Martin, then getting swept at SIUE.
For the Cougars, Zoe Schafer and Tess Eby each have 20 RBI, while Schafer leads the team with a .369 batting average.
In the circle, Emily Ingles has been SIUE's top performer, recording a 11-7 season thus far with a 2.09 ERA, 51 walks and 109 strikeouts. Corrina Rivas has a 4-5 record with a 3.83 ERA, walking 31 and striking out 58.
SIUE has lost three of its last five, including getting swept at Southeast Missouri. The Cougars took two from Eastern Illinois on Tuesday, then dropped a 1-0 decision to Saint Louis on Wednesday.
In conference play alone, Thomas has three home runs and seven RBI with a .393 average. Gabby LaSala has the best batting average in OVC play with a .394.
In the circle, Taylor Waldrop has a 4-0 record in conference play with a 0.00 ERA, but, for the season, has a 3.49 ERA with a 9-7 record.